Encore Blog Editor, MarketWatch
Editor of the MarketWatch Encore blog: News, advice, commentary about the changing nature of retirement. Likes: Food, theater, music, random trivia. You?
blogs.marketwatch.com — Most retirement planning exercises ask the saver to estimate an annual rate of return for their nest-egg investments. When the markets were soaring in the 1990s, some investors were blithely assuming 10% annual returns; in these chastened, post-crash days, many investors make more conservative assumptions of 5% or 6%.
cjr.org — Elizabeth O'Brien's May 15 Marketwatch piece on proposed changes for Medicare is one of the best I have seen since the government's health program for elderly and disabled people surfaced last year as a likely target for the federal budget axe. It still is a target, and that makes O'Brien's effort all the more important.
blogs.marketwatch.com — Encore wrote earlier this month about trends in the usually staid fixed-annuity business that have raised hackles among some consumer advocates. In short: Big players in the financial-services industry have been buying companies that specialize in fixed-annuities and expanding those annuities' investments into more profitable but potentially riskier assets-including subprime mortgage securities, timeshare vacation homes, and in one case, a stake in a Major League Baseball team.
blogs.marketwatch.com — We've written before about retirement savers who use their IRAs to try to harness the potential rewards of entrepreneurship - whether by rolling their savings into a start-up or by owning stakes in privately held businesses through "self-directed" retirement accounts. But such savers have to walk a fine line to avoid running afoul of complicated tax rules.
blogs.marketwatch.com — If you're in the market for a financial adviser, it helps to have some way of measuring the quality of a particular adviser's service. In a recent article, an industry insider offers six parameters that can get you started. For all the complexity surrounding retirement finances, relatively few people actually seek out professional help.
blogs.marketwatch.com — Many affluent retirees breathed a sigh of relief when the fiscal-cliff compromise locked in a new estate tax threshold at the beginning of this year. Not only did the tax deal make permanent an exemption rate that had been a source of confounding uncertainty, it also set that rate at a level ($5.25 million for 2013) that was higher than many people had expected.
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